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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 16, 2012 12:15am-1:00am EST

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next, booktv set down with david rothkopf at the miami book fair international which is held annually on the campus of miami-dade college. he talks about his latest book, "power, inc." and responded to fewer questions. it's about half an hour. in >> on your screen now is the cover of david rothkopf's newest book, "power, inc." the epic rivalry d between big business d government and the reckoning that lies ahead. he joins us here on our set in miami.d. nestor rothkopf, a lot of people think that government and big business go hand-in-hand. hand in hand. >> they do go hand in hand but government playing field for power so business in -- introduces itself to guide it in the direction it wants to go but a lot of people in big business or the financial community would
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prefer if it went on in their way unimpeded by government so that is another front in this particular power struggle. >> one of the points you make in "power, inc." is there are some multinational corporations and make more money, control more money than most governments on earth. >> big companies like walmart have more employees than smaller countries in the world but a country like a company like exxon has revenues that are bigger than the gdp of 30 or 40 countries on earth and therefore it has resources that allow it to set up offices in more countries than most countries have embassies, put more money toward influencing outcomes and political campaigns, to a greater extent than any countries are able to do so they
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have greater influence. >> host: is that negative? >> guest: depending on your view. companies are capable of acting in the public interest or promoting progress or promoting economic growth and that is positive but companies tend to act in their narrow self-interest as well. they are obligated to enhance their shareholders's returns and very often that would mean resist certain kinds of regulations, resists certain kinds of taxes and resist certain kinds of policies that might be in the broader public interest and there's a tension between the narrow self-interest of the few and the broader general interest of everybody else. >> host: in "power, inc." you talk about evolution quite a bit. if i am misquoting you let me know, but national governments are neanderthal. >> guest: i talk about a comparison there is an evolutionary table of organization and at a certain
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point just like human beings split, neanderthal and modern human beings split off at a certain point. national governments are a form of organization that are inconsistent with the global era where corporations helped shape the global era, are designed to operate globally, designed to operate across borders and thrive in a place where the very nature of countries having borders restrict them from projecting their influence. >> host: do you see that changing? >> it will change at a point in history where people realize they need international institutions that are strong enough to regulate global climate or to regulate global financial markets or to regulate global health risks in an effective way. right now we have international institutions like the un and world bank that they were all designed to be weak, they were all designed to play a secondary
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role to nations whose sovereignty we saw as inviolable. i don't think that is sustainable because so many of the interests you or i have as individual citizens of wherever we come from are really affected by decisions that happen on a global stage. >> host: david rothkopf is our guest. numbers are on the screen if you'd like to participate in this author:2 your 2-585-3885. in east and central time zones 585-3886. if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones, mr. rothkopf, former managing director of kissinger associates and current ceo of foreign policy. what is foreign policy? >> guest: divisional, washington post foreign policy magazine, the foreign policy website which is not much bigger than the magazine, three million visitors on the web site and runs a series of events and other
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programs on international issues. >> host: mr. rothkopf, in "power, inc." you have a chapter about a swedish boat. what is that story? >> guest: i wanted to go to the origin story of the company. companies in one form or another have existed since the beginning of time but the oldest corp. still in existence is a swedish company that started perhaps 1,000 years ago when a goat wandered away from its owner and came back with red horns because it had shrunk from a stream that was full of copper ore and the owner came back and found the extreme and started digging for copper ended became a copper company and became a company called totenberg which means great copper mountain and is now primarily in the paper business. about $20 billion a year in sales it is bigger than a couple
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of dozen countries itself and the fact that it existed so long and is so big and most people have never heard of it illustrated the phenomena not wanted to get at in the book in a direct way. >> host: 2008, the financial collapse, what does that indicate? >> guest: the financial collapse indicated that financial markets have been extremely successful in influencing government officials to pull back the regulatory safeguards we as citizens in society need. they were able to pursue their own narrow interests but started playing the global casino in a way that when there were big losses, we were the ones who paid the price. >> host: mr. "god believes in love: straight talk about gay marriage" -- mr. rothkopf, is the u.s. in the right path when it comes to the mix of business and government?
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>> guest: there's a lot of work to be done. from the recent presidential campaign where we spent $6 billion and most of that money came in one way or another from companies or people who worked for powerful companies and was part of a bargain that exists in our society between special interests donors and political beneficiaries that their special interests will get pursued and it is the first big election since citizens united where supreme court rules money with speech and we couldn't regulate money and i found that to be a real distortion factor in u.s. life and we are coming out of a period in which income inequality has grown more than ever in u.s. history and we had gdp growth but job contraction, social mobility is going down and we have to ask ourselves,
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have companies pushed government off their back on a regular basis, grow in a free-wheeling way and all of a sudden people are falling at the wayside. is there a connection? i think there is and the objective of society is not to have the richest country in terms of gdp which is an aggregate measure. and each and every person. >> host: is the world capitalist? >> guest: the world is capitalist but the term capitalism means different things in different places. in united states for the past couple of decades we have been pushing a kind of capitalism where government stays out of the way, laizzez-faire capitalism, milton friedman capitalism but other places, china is a communist country but it is also a capitalist country, just a different definition of capitalism. in places like singapore where there are small countries where
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there is a strong collaboration between the government and the market, a different form of capitalism. places like brazil and india where there's a big social agenda because they are developing. in southern europe, northern europe or different forms, in northern europe, the government believes in a strong social safety nets, believe in paying for health care, believe in playing a role in determining what businesses succeed or fail and yet those governments have budgets that are balanced and growing faster than we are and creating more jobs than we are. we have to be a little bit careful when we as we sometimes do in the united states that are high horse and say we understand capitalism, actually what is going on in the world is a competition between different versions and if our version produces more in the quality and less growth is seen as less fair, and others are seen as more fair and are producing more growth, who do you think is going to win that argument? >> host: a lot of people would
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say the northern european countries are socialist. is socialism a term that is outdated? >> guest: i think it is. let's take an example that is big in the election campaign. car companies going bankrupt during the last cycle, america is the big capitalist country didn't have a social safety net. of those countries went bankrupt million people would be out of work, a social catastrophe so the government has to step in and bail those companies out. sweden had a car company that went bankrupt, the social safety net and extensive retraining programs, let it go bankrupt. they let the market take its course. which is more capitalist? the country with the save the net that could allow the market to do its thing or the country without one that couldn't afford to let the market do its thing. >> host: let's go to the title, "power, inc.". is this a how to? >> you could read it that way
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but it is more the cautionary child. it is a story of how the growth of the power of private actors has expanded dramatically not just in the past decade but over the past thousand years, it is a historical trends just like the evolution of democracy, and globalization is the historical trend. we need to understand it that way if we are going to counterbalance it with the interest of people at large. >> host: david rothkopf is our guest. the first call for him comes from just north of where we are. carmen in fort lauderdale, fla.. good afternoon. you are on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: i was just like to ask the author of the "power, inc." if he believes -- >> host: we are listening. please go ahead. we are going to move on to don
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in austin, texas. good afternoon. please go ahead with your question or comment for david rothkopf. >> caller: i would like you to respond to a specific comment if you will. about the m f global bankruptcy. that was filed on monday. the monday after the sunday night when it was found crystal clearly and everybody knew, everybody was involved knew that there was a loss of money, substantial loss of money, determined sunday night. this is not a controversial statement. so monday during the bankruptcy hearing with a judge who is a friend of the m f global attorney because they worked together, he heard the m f global attorney tell him there
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was no loss of money so this is not going to be a big problem. that is impossible for him to saves no accounting had been done, would take a long time and everybody in the courtroom knew, and who was in the courtroom but regulators, the commodity futures trading commission and regulators from the national futures association, industry involved organization that tries to keep your futures honest. please make a comment about the out rages act. >> guest: my sense is the specifics of the case aside, the congress is also overseeing an investigation of that case, and the findings were pretty damaging to the management.
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let's go back to the question you asked earlier about the crisis in 2007-2008-2009 and our response to that crisis. we learned terms like too big to fail, we saw the risks that were associated with things like derivative instruments and we then had a debate about it and an effort at financial reform that didn't actually fix the problem. we have more too big to fail banks than we did before and we have more derivatives and more at risk investing happening today than we did before this crisis to place. whatever the specifics of this one case are, we have a long way to go before we have a regulatory system that is up to mitigating the risk as we have seen during the past several years when things go wrong, it impact the lives of average people far away from wall street. >> host: david rothkopf is the author of "power, inc." and
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superclass. you mentioned before we started you working on your third book. >> guest: fourth book. my first book was on the history of the national security council and it stopped in the middle of the boy should ministration and a lot has gone on since then. i am looking at the state of national security post the second half of the bush administration particularly the obama years and whether we are getting any stronger or whether we are in a more precarious position than we have been before. >> host: mary in chris christie, texas, you are on booktv with david rothkopf. >> caller: i find this conversation very interesting. i was wondering if you could comment on the reckoning that is to come a little bit. >> guest: one dimension of the reckoning that lies ahead is the
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competition between capitalism. right now in the united states coming out of a period where we have in the ascending power, we have been the ones who have sort of set the standard for all markets and governments should work together but clearly the asian economies are thriving and growing faster and their version of capitalism which is a much bigger role for government, which has government playing more of a straw role in picking winners and losers, determining who gets educator and how they get educated, those forms of capitalism seem to be gaining the upper hand in the global debate and we have to recognize if we don't address the flaws in our own system like the flaws associated with any college or the inability to create jobs for the free rein given to big investors at the expense of everybody else we are going to lose our influence, the model is going to change and we're going to be at a disadvantage. >> host: what is china doing
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right? >> guest: they are growing fast. by 2030, china is the second-biggest economy in the world right now. we think of it as an exporting economy but their growth has been internal. by 23 which is not that long way although it sounds far away, they will be the world's largest consumer economy. they will be the ones setting the trend in terms of one car is like and what a washing machine is like and what and ipad is like. they are also building more cities than anybody else, going from 75 cities of 1 million people to two 20 cities of 1 million people to almost 20 cities of ten million people and in doing that they will be building our highways and power plants of tomorrow and the czech writer has a lot of power in what these look like so they will be dictating what those things look like as well and as
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they create vast reserves of wealth and giving it to people who need to borrow it europeans who need to borrow it gain influence that way and when they go to latin america where they are the number one trading partner investor in brazil or africa where they are number one investor they get a lot of influence that way. is not just economic growth but economic leverage and economic power. they are growing as a soft power leader in the world and that is something we need to watch carefully because their interests do not always a line which hours. >> host: next call from maurice in walton, ky. >> caller: hello. >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: i would like to ask mr. rothkopf to cite some examples of large corporations that government has a withdrawn regulations, governing those industries. when the obama administration is
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adding hundreds of regulations every month particularly with health care industry, the environmental situation, i don't see any coming off of anybody whether it is health care interests or industry in general. >> guest: there are a lot of regulations. lot of bad regulations and i am not suggesting all forms of regulation are good but i do think it is very clear that for example some industries like big oil and gas companies have had benefits in terms of tax breaks, there has been an effort to push back up climate's regulation, whether it is a carbon tax or a movement toward global agreements on climate, there have been efforts to pursue certain kinds of regulatory approaches more beneficial and others such as promoting free
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trade agreements without intensively promoting the enforcement of trade and so forth. is not whether there's regulation or not or how many regulations there are but to the regulations favor and how they impact everybody else. >> host: david rothkopf is our guest. bob in marina, california is the next caller. >> it is an honor to talk to you. i met you and some years back at the conference in monterey, california and i remember the educational challenges not only to reach the masses but also to educator the children of the superrich and that the blacks on route nadir at observation the only the superrich can save us. i would like to get an update on your take of the educational
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challenge we face by your analysis which i think is absolutely superb. you are really a beacon of light in the darkness for us all. >> host: >> guest: education is our biggest challenge, drive economic growth and we have an educational system that works on a model developed at the university of bologna in the year 800 where a guy stands in front of a rule of 800 and talk with them. and into every classroom using video and the internet. we need to recognize and education assistance designed for an agrarian era and give kids the summer of doesn't make sense and an educational system designed for people having one career in their lives beginning when they turn 21 and extending 20 years after that doesn't work and people need lifelong education and we need to educate people for the skills that are
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required by the evolve and high value-added economy and that doesn't just mean skills like math and science although we are lagging behind 30 or 40 other countries in the world in that regard. it also means skills associated with creativity and innovation because our edge as a country comes in the area where we can use our creativity but we also protect creativity in a way that places like china and others don't. in a content driven world, software driven world, that combination of creative people, a system that promotes and protect creativity is probably the real ace in the hole. >> host: let's take bob's comment and tie that to your previous book superclass. you have mentioned we are creating a class of people way up here and everyone else is being left behind in a sense. >> guest: the gap is growing
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between the ridges 1% and the rest of us. they have benefited more than anyone else in the course of the past week in years. most of the gains that have come with 90% of the gains that have come from the last expansion went to them. people at the bottom of society are more likely to stay there than ever before. we use that social mobility but if you're born in the bottom 54 likely to end up there. it is worse when you look at inner-city schools where about half of students who are minority background don't graduate from high school. if you don't graduate from high school and the global economy you are out of the game. from the day you are 17 or 18 years old you will not be competitive. there are forces holding them down. our tax system, system of promoting certain kinds of industries, system of education that get people on the fast track, a leg up into the good jobs are actually forcing people
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apart. i think you saw that. wasn't just a anger that you saw in the occupy wall street movement. was also anger you saw in the tea party movement and it was anger that was directed at mitt romney who is seen not as a business guy which is how he wanted to be seen but as a wall street guy, as a financial guy, someone taking too much advantage. one of the take aways from the last election was a wall street that was really damaged by this president and has done a lousy job addressing people's feelings, over the course of the past few years, i don't think that is the case. i really think we have a problem that is getting worse and more challenging and likely to provoke more, not fewer, uprisings of the tight you solid occupy or the tea party. >> host: you have had several careers including serving as
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undersecretary of commerce in the clinton administration, managing director of the kissinger associates and and a former businessman. is being capital type of operation a black rock type operation healthy for our economy? >> guest: it is essentials for the economy. it needs private equity, an innovator to go to somebody with capital and be able to applies at capital to they're big ideas and help from grow and help to create jobs. does that mean bane or black rock need all the tax breaks to treat interest in the way they treat them, that we need to trade capital gains in the way we treat capital gains to give the mall and advantage? of course it doesn't. they can still get plenty rich and have plenty of incentives without having some much of the playing field tilted in their direction that the rest of
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society that needs these resources to build a school or highway or bridge or health care system don't get that. >> host: we are talking with david rothkopf about "power, inc.: the epic rivalry between big business and government" and the reckoning that lies ahead. jeff in santa fe, calif. you are on booktv. please go lead with your question. >> caller: earlier you talk about our international institutions are week that need to be made stronger to properly govern multinational corporations. given that nations around the world are in different phases coupled with the greatest different culture, how would you go about stressing these institutions? it could take a long time for the national institutions. thank you. >> it will take a long period of time. in most countries are round world talking about strengthening international institutions is the third rail in politics. if you want to see a little sovereignty of ford and you are
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out of business. if we don't see sovereignty upward we don't preserve national sovereignty or national interests. the reason superstorm sandy cause such damage in the northeast of the united states was not exclusively related to environmental policies and actions taken in the united states of america. .. issues and the course of civilization in the history of civilization is taking government from small tribes and villages to cities states to nation-states to broader and broader societal groupings because our economy is extended across the borders and our travel extended across the borders and the threats and risks we face came from beyond those borders so it's only
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natural that over time we will develop stronger global institutions because we face more shared problems with all of those people and if i can add one last thing, remember the united states of america, the>> economy of the southern states in thecamo northern states are y very different and even todaytas the economy in montana's veryeyr different from the economy and lowervero manhattan. very different. we found a way to deal with that and the regulators are the same is true in europe and china and india. same is the same is true and brazil. this country deals with gaps between the rich and poor, agriculture, and earthen industrialize an evolving in much the same way that we're going to have to on the global stage for a the problem has been solved and can be solved. >> host: good afternoon, we have a caller from new york city. >> caller: hello, i'm so happy you're taking my call.
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my question is this fiscal cliff that we are approaching. if president obama allows it to happen, what kind of catastrophe are you talking about? i'm kind of concerned? so negatively will this affect the industry? how bad will it really be out there on wall street and main street? >> guest: well, let's say there are a bunch of people where the congress is involved, democrats and republicans have a role to play in whether we resolve this or not. the fact that we litigate to this extent, we are leaving the american people what the risks exposed with the fiscal squibb on time, it wants be outraged that it's generated.
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the fiscal cliff is a problem. you go over the cliff and the consequences can be beautiful% of gdp growth due to automatic cuts by six or $700 billion. the day after that, the market could fall seven or 800 points but washington will get the message. what i fear and what i think is the risk is that they will fix it with a patch that is short-term, it's not substantive, it doesn't have a lot of nutritional content to it and we are going to be right back in again and again. markets will lose confidence. we will gradually lose our global credibility as an economic leader. we might see our credit rating damaged more over time. and it is the slow defense of the united states that is the
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real risk. the fiscal cliff is something that can be fixed fairly easily. >> host: finally, i would like to go back, david rothkopf come to your comments about government. national government being neanderthal it. there was a throwaway line of sight while we are still organized as nation states economically. again, where we going in the future. >> i think we will see the future. because we live in geographic proximity to one another, we also have city governments, state governments in the united states, we have a federal government in the united states and it's only natural that another layer of government that deals with issues of loss. but over the course of the next
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hundred years from the lives of our children and grandchildren, we will see progress with it. the big question is whether the balance between the power of those public entities and big private enterprises that are the size of most of the biggest countries in the world. it also remains unbalanced. right now, our future is being determined in financial markets that are regulated by anybody. where the risk of a blow is a risk to each of us and those factors have been very successful in shrugging off and keeping away kind of regulation that could mitigate that risk. and the point is we need to pay attention there and we need to balance their, particularly in the united states, we are seriously out of markets."
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and that's in a few minutes. but in the meantime, we want to oduc >> we want to introduce you to lila quintero weaver. she is the author of this book, "darkroom" a memoir in black and white. ms. weaver, first of all tell us your story before we start in on because the i book. >> it's a coming-of-age story primarily about immigration to the united states in 1961. i was fives years old and we settled in alabama, right in the heart of some of the most dramatic events that occurred in the civil rights movement. hometown of marion, alabama. pretty dramatic. >> host: now, where do you live now, first of all? >> guest: i live in tuscaloosa, alabama, which is 60 miles up
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the road but almost in another, more recent century than my small hometown. >> host: and darkroom is a lot about the civil rights movement and some of the experiences that you had. i want to start with your father. what did he do for a living, and what was his experience like? >> guest: my father was a teacher. he had a background also in the ministry. but, um, he was an amateur photographer. he did some freelance work, and that figures centrally in my book, "darkroom." >> host: and i want to ask about his ministering, because he'd been assigned to some churches, and you write about b that in here. what was his experience? >> guest: well, this was, actually, my family's first immigration period. in 1948 my father came to the u.s., and he studied at a seminary in new orleans, and he went around and did some speaking in various places there where he encountered institutionalized segregation
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even in the church. >> host: and at one point he spoke at a black church. >> guest: yes. >> host: and he invited the choir to attend a service at a white church. >> guest: that's right. >> host: what happened? >> guest: the white church was not happy with that at all, and he not only was the choir ejected and my father and his friend who was a seminary student and also the pastor of that little church of the white church, he was fired. my father or's friend. >> host: and your father at some point dropped out of the ministry, correct? >> guest: yes, he did, eventually. >> host: why, because of his experience in alabama? >> guest: no, not necessarily. the family went back to argentina, i was born during that time, and he was a pastor there in a city called la plata for a period of time and then decided to come back to the u.s., and the opportunity to teach kind of took precedence over his ministry.
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>> host: did his experience with segregation shake his faith? >> guest: um, it's possible that it did because during the '60s, especially in 1965 he saw some shocking things where, in the baptist church in my hometown of marion. there were actually deacons in the vestibule of the church that were armed with chains and guns ready to turn away black worshipers should they show up. that was a stunning experience for him, and he was marked by it. >> host: who is jimmy -- who was jimmy lee jackson who figures in your book? >> guest: yes. jimmy lee jackson was 26 years old and an activist with the voter registration drive in my hometown of marion. and, um, he was shot by a state trooper on the night of february
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18, 1965, and eight days later he died. and it was his death that spurred the march from selma to montgomery. so most people know about that march, but today don't know it was jimmy lee jackson's death that brought it about. >> host: i want to show our viewers what the inside of your book looks like here, and it's done in graphic novel form. why? >> guest: yes. yes, i'm the illustrator as well as the author. art is my first love, and so this was the way to tell my story visually not only because of my art background, but also it was a way to incorporate some of the images of photography. that motif runs throughout the book. that's why it's called "darkroom." >> host: what do you do today for a living? >> guest: well, i am -- after spending four years writing and
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illustrating this book, it has over 500 illustrations, i have devoted my time to book tour and to speaking to classrooms, um, university and otherwise, and i'm also beginning a possible second work as a novelist in fiction. >> host: now, when you visit argentine ya today, are you an argentinean or are you an american? >> guest: you know, it's a funny thing. down there i do feel somewhat like a foreigner. um, i don't speak spanish excellently, fluently and not with an argentine accent. but, um, i do lo it. the culture is mine. but i guess i feel more american down there and here i feel maybe more -- especially in alabama, i don't feel as american as i do elsewhere. >> host: why is that? >> guest: um, alabama's a very
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conservative state, and it's also not diverse. we still have the setup from many decades back when the rest of the country or i should say the east coast, the west coast, other parts of the country were receiving a lot of immigrants, alabama did not have the influx of immigration that other places did. and so we are still, basically, a black and white society with just a few hispanics sprinkled in. >> host: in "darkroom," you mentioned that you weren't necessarily discriminated against as a child or your family wasn't because they didn't have any terms for latinos -- >> guest: exactly. that's right. >> host: or spanish-speaking people. >> guest: that's right. we were just oddballs. we were more or less objects of curiosity. and now there are more hispanics in the region and, unfortunately, there is also more xenophobia as a result of
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that. [inaudible] >> guest: yes. alabama has instituted one of the harshest immigration laws in the united states, very similar to arizona's. >> host: you have a chapter in here about some young girls when schools were first integrated. who were those girls? >> guest: um, are you speaking of the young african-american girls? >> host: yes, uh-huh. >> guest: well, the public schools in my, in my area were integrated in two steps. the first step was, um, the freedom of choice era is what they called it, when parents had the opportunity to send their children to white schools if they wanted to. and so my first black schoolmate was just one girl who was very shy, painfully shy. and then that was when i was in the fifth grade. then, when i was in the eighth grade, the public schools were fully desegregated, and that's when the races really began to
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mix in a way that had not been possible before in that area. >> host: where do your children go to school? >> guest: well, my children are grown now. i have my youngest daughter is finishing up her degree at the university of alabama. can and, of course, they grew up in fully-desegregated schools. so they had a completely different experience. >> host: is it different today, in many your view, in alabama? when you talk to your kids about their experience, do they think that's very foreign to what they know? >> guest: it is different can. yet there is enough, i believe, of that sentiment that survives that they can easily believe that it was as bad as it was. they can, they can look back through the lens of their current experience with seeing racism around them. and i'm not saying it just exists in the south. i know better than that. i know it exists everywhere.
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but, yes. you can still see signs of it. >> host: you have excerpted in your book "no alabama." talk about this, if you would. >> guest: no alabama was my fourth grade alabama history textbook. i remember, so i guess i was about 9 or 10 years old, and i remember it being shocking to me, the way that they portrayed the civil war in the antibell lumbar period, especially slavery. and i came upon that book again in the children's section of my public library in tuscaloosa, and i was stunned. all over again, to see how racist the language is and how apologist it is for the institution of slavery. >> host: and this is reading
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from "no alabama." the negro cook comes in bringing a great tray of food. you have known her all your life and love her very much. >> guest: yes. >> host: here is the book. it's called "darkroom: a memoir in black and white." lila quintero weaver is the author, university of alabama is the publisher. one other thing i wanted to ask you, you write in here that you were surprised to see african-americans when you first arrived in alabama from argentina. >> guest: yes. because argentina was -- well, buenos arris where i was born, it is a culture composed of europeans primarily. there are indigenous people in argentina, and they mostly live -- or at that time lived away from the city, so we didn't really encounter african-americans. and and even to this day there are very few african, people of
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african desc


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